09-19-2009, 04:19 PM
Re: Keeping your edge; Knife Sharpening
I have used most available types of sharping methods including stone, diamond, steel and ceramic. Here are my thoughts.
1. Stone may be the best but it takes more than one to condition a dull blade and it is slow. After a blade is sharp and is made with good steel, a hard stone can make a very smooth and durable edge.
2. Diamond is quick to sharpen but most diamond rods or flats don't have fine enough grit. Consequently the edge is not as smooth as with stones. You can't see the rough edge except under magnification. I have used diamond dust on aluminum flats but it is expensive. Diamond dust is used to sharpen hand cutters that engravers use. I have a complete set with a ceramic finish wheel.
3. A steel is very good to reset the edge on a properly sharpen knife. Some steels will sharpen but I find they are best at setting an edge. Sharpeners that are made from carbide sharpen quickly but remove too much steel. They will wear down a blade over time.
4. Ceramic is hard and you can get different grits. The fine grits being good at putting a finishing edge on a knife. The very fine ceramic are also good at resetting the edge.
5. Wheels with paste polish added. I have used leather, cotton and cardboard wheels. This is a terrific way to sharpen knives and chisels. I have a bunch of gunsmith chisels and I found the medium hard leather to be a very good sharpener with the right past added and a quick touch with a cotton wheel to finish. There are also stone wheels that some use to sharpen knives and chisels. They have to turn at a slow speed to prevent burning the steel you are sharping.
Over the years I have gravitated to ceramic. I have a fine ceramic rod that I use to condition the edge on a Wüsthof kitchen knife that I have used for years. It is as sharp as it was new. Every once in a while I do a swipe or two with the ceramic rod and it is back to new with no signs of wear.